TOP STORY: The 2019 Vuelta Route Presented:
The 2019 Vuelta a España route was presented on Wednesday in Alicante in-front of an invited audience. There will be a PEZ in-depth look at the route soon, but here is a quick resumé:
The coastal area of Alicante is the setting for the first stages of the 74th edition of the Spanish Grand Tour with a team time trial on the opening day in Torrevieja. The course is, as ever, on the mountainous side, with eight summit finishes, a team time trial (18 km) and an individual time trial (36.1 km). The total length is 3272.2 kilometers, making the Vuelta considerably shorter than the Giro d'Italia (3518.5 km) and the Tour de France (3460 km).
The first summit finish is on Stage 5 with the finish line at the observatory of Javalambre, at an altitude of 1950 meters. It is the first of three really tough stages, in particular, the steep climb to Mas de la Costa, last used in 2016. On to Andorra; only 96.6 kilometers this is the shortest road stage, but with five climbs. After the first rest day the Vuelta goes to France for the 36.1 individual time trial. Stage 13 has six climbs before the final climb of the Los Machucos, but the last four days will decide the Spanish race with tough stages, including some new climbs around the Madrid area before the finish in the Capital City.
Some riders have already indicated that they are going to race in the Vuelta, including Steven Kruijswijk. At Movistar, Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde have said they will ride and last year's KOM, Thomas De Gendt, also wants to return. Last year's winner, Simon Yates is unsure, saying at the presentation that he would ride the Giro d'Italia and then see.
Live route presentation:
Vuelta a España 2019 Stage List:
August 24 - Stage 1: Salinas de Torrevieja - Torrevieja (Team Time Trial / 18 km)
Stage 2: Benidorm - Calpe (193 km)
Stage 3: Ibi. Ciudad del Juguete - Alicante (186 km)
Stage 4: Cullera - El Puig (177 km)
Stage 5: L'Eliana - Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (165.6 km)
Stage 6: Mora de Rubielos - Ares del Maestrat (196,6 km)
Stage 7: Onda - Mas de la Costa (182.4 km)
Stage 8: Valls - Igualada (168 km)
Stage 9: Andorra la Vella - Cortals d'Encamp (96.6 km)
September 2 - Rest day
Stage 10: Jurançon - Pau (Individual Time Trial / 36.1 km)
Stage 11: Saint-Palais - Undax-Dantxarinea (169 km)
Stage 12: Circuito de Navarra - Bilbao (175 km)
Stage 13: Bilbao - Los Machucos. Monumento Vaca Pasiega (167.3 km)
Stage 14: San Vicente de la Barquera - Oviedo (189 km)
Stage 15: Tineo - Santuario del Acebo (159 km)
Stage 16: Pravia - Alto de La Cubilla. Lena (155 km)
September 10 - Rest day
Stage 17: Aranda de Duero - Guadalajara (199.7 km)
Stage 18: Colmenar Viejo - Becerril de la Sierra (180.9 km)
Stage 19: Ávila - Toledo (163.4 km)
Stage 20: Arenas de San Pedro - Plataforma de Gredos (189 km)
September 15 - Stage 21: Fuenlabrada - Madrid (105.6 km).
Classics for Mathieu
Mathieu van der Poel will ride the Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race in 2019, it announced at a press conference in Amsterdam on Monday. The Dutch road and European cross champion will also be on the start line of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Scheldeprijs and the Brabantse Pijl.
"The National Championships win on the road was the reason to go to table with Mathieu to talk about a road program. That is why we decided to start that process earlier, instead of after the Olympic Games. How that will evolve in the future remains to be seen. That is another question mark. But we want to do everything we can to get the most out of his talent," according to team manager Philip Roodhooft.
Mathieu will not ride all the races that the Corendon-Circus team is invited to. "I do not want to do everything at once. That keeps me fresh," emphasized Van der Poel. The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Scheldeprijs are not on his schedule.
Paris-Roubaix is also not on the program of the Corendon-Circus team. "I consciously skip Roubaix, so that I can prepare well for the Brabant Arrow and Amstel Gold Race," says Van der Poel.
There has been talk with the ASO about a participation in Paris-Roubaix, but the team and Van der Poel, the Dutch National champion, wants to fully focus on the Amstel Gold Race. Despite his early arrival in top flight road racing, the Olympic Games remain the main goal: "The main goal is the 2020 Olympic Games. That remains the main focus."
Road program Mathieu van der Poel in 2019:
Tour of Antalya - 21 to 24 February
Nokere Koerse - 20 March
Bredene Koksijde Classic - 22 March
Gent-Wevelgem - 31 March
Dwars door Vlaanderen – 3 April
Ronde van Vlaanderen - 7 April
Brabantse Pijl - April 17
Amstel Gold Race - April 21st.
MvdP wins stage 1 of the Arctic Race:
Van Aert joins Team Jumbo-Visma from March 2019
From the 1st of March Wout van Aert strengthens the ranks of Team Jumbo-Visma. The cyclocross World champion took a plane to Spain yesterday to join the training with his teammates today. Manager Richard Plugge of Team Jumbo-Visma and Van Aert agreed a contract for three years.
“I think I achieved great results last year and that’s why I had the opportunity to talk with different teams”, Van Aert said. “At one point, Team Jumbo-Visma knocked on my door, a team that really appealed to me. Due to circumstances I will be able to move up the ranks in 2019 already. It feels good that I can step up to the WorldTour, because I think I can develop myself a lot at that level.”
Plugge is keen to develop Van Aert into a top classic rider. “We were interested in Wout for 2020”, he said. “Things have all gone faster than planned and we can welcome him to our team earlier. That’s very good news for the team, because we’re getting stronger. He’s a very big talent and we hope to be able to develop him into the classic rider we all see in him.”
On Friday, the new addition and the rest of the team will be presented to the press and the public at the headquarters of Jumbo in Veghel, Netherlands.
Van der Sande Positive
Today, Lotto Soudal was notified by its rider Tosh Van der Sande of a positive doping test during the Six Days of Ghent where he took part in between 12 and 18 November 2018.
The substance is a permitted one and occurs in the nasal spray Sofrasolone, that is freely available and allowed to be used in competition if mentioned during a control.
After a meeting with the rider, the Board has decided to suspend the rider, in expectation of the investigation executed by the UCI and to allow the rider to underpin his defense in the best possible way.
Lotto Soudal will give no further explanations until the UCI procedure has terminated.
Tosh Van der Sande at the Gent 6 Days:
"Getting Kwiatkowski is a Priority"
The new WorldTour team CCC is already thinking ahead of the 2019 season. As Sky will not be a sponsor after the next season, the chance of Poland's first WorldTour team signing the former World champion, Michał Kwiatkowski, have increased. "Our goal is to get the best Polish cyclists to ride in our orange shirts," sports director Piotr Wadecki told SPORT.TVP.PL.
Lukas Wisniowski made the transition from Sky to CCC this winter. There is a chance that Kwiatkowski will follow this example in 2020. Although the team is not in discussion with him yet. "The acquisition of Kwiatkowski was our priority from the start, but we knew that he had a two-year contract. It will certainly not be an easy task," Wadecki added.
Some other riders that CCC has an eye on are Rafal Majka, Maciej Bodnar and Paweł Poljanski (all BORA-hansgrohe), because they are amongst the best riders in Poland. Wadecki reiterated: "We want the CCC team to be Polish, not only thanks to the license and main sponsor, but also by leaders who come from our country."
Strong men from Poland:
The Giro Deserves an Oscar
Shot at the 2015 Giro d'Italia – and already a winner of several awards – the shortlisting of the film "Wonderful Losers. A Different World", for an Oscar in the Foreign Language and Documentary category is celebrated in the Los Angeles restaurant of ex-pro footballer Alessandro Del Piero. During the event, Tom Dumoulin announced with a video his participation at the 2019 Giro d'Italia.
Alessandro Del Piero, Arūnas Matelis and Paolo Bellino
Celebrated overnight in Los Angeles at "N.10" restaurant, owned by the famous former Italian footballer Alessandro Del Piero, is the shortlisting for the Academy Awards, the Oscar, of the Lithuanian film "Wonderful Losers. A Different World", which was shot almost entirely at the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
In the presence of many of the representatives of the American movie industry and the RCS Sport CEO, Paolo Bellino, the Lithuanian movie director Arūnas Matelis spoke with joy and hope about his film. It is among the 2019 Oscar candidates in the Best Foreign Film category, representing Lithuania. The movie has already won various awards in international festivals, including the Best Documentary in this year's Trieste Film Festival.
Former HFPA President, Lorenzo Soria, Paolo Bellino, Al Pacino Producer, Barry Navidi and Arūnas Matelis
"Wonderful Losers. A Different World" uncovers the invisible side of Giro d'Italia, one of the harshest and most popular cycling races in the world. Matelis was the first film director in 40 years to be allowed to shoot the race from inside it.
During the "Italian flavored" event, Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) announced with a video message his participation at the 2019 Giro d'Italia.
Yates Also Rides the Giro d'Italia
Simon Yates will be on the Giro d'Italia start line next year. The Mitchelton-Scott rider rode thirteen days in the pink jersey in 2017, but cracked in the end to finish in 21st place.
"I have very good memories of last year with of course three stage wins, but I want to go back and finish the job off," Yates refers to his disappointing final placing. "The course may not be perfect, but we will go for it and try to win the final victory."
After three stage victories and 13 days in the Maglia Rosa this year, @SimonYatess will return to the Giro d’Italia in 2019 looking for more | Dopo 3 vittorie e 13 giorni in Maglia Rosa nel #Giro101, Simon Yates sarà presente al #Giro d’Italia 2019 cercando di fare ancora meglio! pic.twitter.com/XT6NuxoEOT— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) December 17, 2018
Kruijswijk Goes for the Tour de France podium, Then La Vuelta a España
Steven Kruijswijk will once again focus on the Tour de France in 2019. He is aiming for a podium place. That is what makes the leader of Jumbo-Visma known through the team channels. Then Kruijswijk will ride in the Vuelta a España. "The podium is the ultimate goal," according to 'De Kleerhanger'.
Last season, the Dutchman finished fifth in the Tour de France, behind his teammate Primoz Roglic. The Slovenian is not mentioned in the preview of the upcoming selection of the Tour.
"Last season has worked out very well," sports director Merijn Zeeman said about Kruijswijk. "He raced a very good season at a very high level. His best season ever. We believe very much in his qualities and the way he can lead the team. We will do our utmost to have him as good as possible in the Tour de France."
Kruijswijk himself indicates that he would like to ride the Giro d'Italia again, a round that has often been the focus in recent years. "This year, the choice to combine the Giro Tour was not the right one. I really want to be top in the Tour and for that I have to shoot the Giro. Especially when you see the boys we have more, you have to divide the chances and see where you can be good with more people," says Kruijswijk. "The course of the Tour suits me well and that's why that choice was made."
"I am looking for the last step to get on the podium in a big Tour", continues the broad-shouldered climber. "That's what I want to go for next year. Maybe that step is not physical, but in a different way. Wherever we can make a profit, that's what we're working on."
Jumbo-Visma will go to France with two leaders. Dylan Groenewegen will be played out in the mass sprints, as was the case at the start of the last Tour de France. The Amsterdammer, who already has three Tour stages to his name, gets his own support. Among other things Tony Martin belongs to this.
Kruijswijk will get support from Robert Gesink and George Bennett in the high mountains.
Jumbo-Visma preselection for the 2019 Tour de France:
George Bennett (NZ), Robert Gesink (Ned), Dylan Groenewegen (Ned), Steven Kruijswijk (Ned), Tony Martin (Ger).
Visconti Confirms Transfer to Wilier
Giovanni Visconti will race for Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia in 2019, the 35-year-old Italian announced to Tele Once. Team managers Angelo Citracca and Luca Scinto have been busy behind the scenes trying to complete the transfer.
Visconti has opted for a return to the Italian team for various reasons. "First of all, I want to find pleasure on the bike again. In addition, I want to spend more time at home, with my family. I will go to Wilier to take my own chances, but I also want to assist the younger riders."
Visconti race in 2009 and 2010 for ISD-Neri, the predecessor of Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia and won several Italian one-day races in his first year and became national champion in his second season. "Scinto and Citracca are the basis of my career", he said.
Visconti raced for the Bahrain-Merida team for the past two seasons, but he rode mainly in the service of leaders such as Vincenzo Nibali and Domenico Pozzovivo, but was also allowed to take his own chance. This year he won two stages in the Tour of Austria.
Giovanni Visconti winning in Emilia'17:
Movistar Team launches 2019 season with highest hopes
Men's and women's squads supported by Movistar announce their plans at Madrid's Telefónica HQ to start their 40th year of activity, a huge milestone for Eusebio Unzué's outfit as the longest-standing structure in professional cycling
The Auditorium of Telefónica's global headquarters in Madrid was again the venue for Tuesday's 2019 launch of the Movistar Team, an outfit which will start their 40th consecutive season of professional activity in just under a month's time. The Abarca Sports organization has been present in cycling uninterruptedly since 1980.
The 37 rider of the men's and women's squads, under coordination from general manager Eusebio Unzué, have been presented in front of media, VIPs and Telefónica employees at a packed Auditorium, with live footage available across Spain through #Vamos, the sports channel exclusive to customers of the Movistar+ platform. The reigning World road race Champion, Alejandro Valverde, received a very warm welcome on stage of an event also attended by all of the Blue squad's biggest names, such as Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa, Marc Soler, Mavi García, Eider Merino, Sheyla Gutiérrez and Richard Carapaz.
Eusebio Unzué took advantage from his time on stage to again thank Telefónica's support to the team, as well as outlining their plans for next years, which include aiming again at a Grand Tour success in 2019. Having got all of his leaders together for the 2018 Tour de France, the Blues have chosen to distribute its forces next season into all three GTs. This way. Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde will be racing the Giro; Quintana and Landa will be the main names for the Tour; and two Vuelta a España winners (Valverde and Quintana) will try to repeat their success in Spain. It will be a very special season for Valverde, who will honor the rainbow jersey at the biggest classics of the calendar.
Expectations are high for both the men's team and the 12-rider Movistar women's team. Last year's resounding success for the group managed by Sebastián Unzué and Jorge Sanz - up to 15 victories, including five National Championships and international overall podiums in France and Belgium - have helped them reach a spot within the fifteen teams with the right to race at all events of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, a provision that will be officially sealed in early January 2019.
Telefónica's global partnership manager explained on the reasons of the very recent extension of their sponsorship agreement through the end of 2021: “We share values such as a teamwork, respect, fair play and generosity to all fans”, said Rafael Fernández de Alarcón, who also thanked the riders for all their displays of affection to the public, especially in moments of real stress and physical wear.
The brand's Chief Data Officer, Chema Alonso, offered two demonstrations on the importance of Big Data and cognitive research in cycling, for both training planning and racing analysis. As a very illustrative example, data was shown on the intensity and speed figures reached by Alejandro Valverde in his World Championship victory in Austria last September. All information on the initiative is gathered at this website.
The Movistar Team's 2019 season will start at the Tour Down Under in Australia for its men's team (January 13-20), with the women's squad set to kick off their calendar at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (February 10). The riders will cover more than 300 racing days across nearly twenty countries in Latin America, Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe, including the whole Spanish pro calendar, which spans 125 days of competition. To fulfill their goals, both teams will share identical resources and technical materials, as well as a partnership program which features 30 top-tier brands again trusting both Movistar Team teams in 2019.
Together with those will be one of the biggest fan bases in the entire peloton. The Movistar Team continues to be the WorldTour's second most followed team, with 1.7 million fans across their social profiles on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, combined with an official website (www.movistarteam.com) that will remain as the main source of news and updates from cycling's longest-standing team.
Movistar Team – 2019 Roster (2019 signings in italic)
Men's Team: Andrey Amador (CRC), Winner Anacona (COL), Jorge Arcas, Carlos Barbero, Daniele Bennati (ITA), Carlos Betancur (COL), Richard Carapaz (ECU), Héctor Carretero, Jaime Castrillo, Imanol Erviti, Rubén Fernández, Mikel Landa, Lluís Mas, Nelson Oliveira (POR), Antonio Pedrero, Edu Prades, Nairo Quintana (COL), Jürgen Roelandts (BEL), José Joaquín Rojas, Eduardo Sepúlveda (ARG), Marc Soler, Jasha Sütterlin (GER), Rafa Valls, Alejandro Valverde, Carlos Verona. Sports Directors: José Luis Arrieta, Chente García Acosta, José Luis Jaimerena, Pablo Lastras, Maximilian Sciandri (ITA).
Women's Team: Aude Biannic (FRA), Roxane Fournier (FRA), Mavi García, Alicia González, Sheyla Gutiérrez, Malgorzata Jasinska (POL), Lorena Llamas, Eider Merino, Lourdes Oyarbide, Paula Patiño (COL), Gloria Rodríguez, Alba Teruel. Manager: Sebastián Unzué. Sports Director: Jorge Sanz.
Bardiani-CSF team for 2019
Bardiani-CSF has announced their team line-up for the 2019 season. The Italian ProContinental team has 17 riders, the same amount as last season, but with some changes.
The team had to say goodbye to Simone Andreetta, Giulio Ciccone and Simone Sterbini, Ciccone being the biggest loss. The 23-year-old climber was the top man of the team, he won the Giro dell'Appennino this year, and was second in the Adriatica Ionica Race. Ciccone has moved to WorldTour team Trek-Segafredo. Sterbini has to take a step back to the Continental team; Giotti Victoria-Palomar, the former MSTina Focus team. Andreetta has retired at only 25 years of age.
Luca Covili, Alessandro Pessot and Francesco Romano have joined Bardiani-CSF for 2019. The totally Italian - which must be hoping for a wildcard entry for the Giro d'Italia - will now mainly count on experienced riders like Enrico Barbin and Paolo Simion. Plus the developing talents of the 22-year-old Vincenzo Albanese, and will Luca Wackermann continue his good form along with Andrea Guardini.
Bardiani-CSF team for 2019 riders (all Italian):
Vincenzo Albanese, Enrico Barbin, Michael Bresciani, Giovanni Carboni, Luca Covili, Andrea Guardini, Mirco Maestri, Marco Maronese, Umberto Orsini, Alessandro Pessot, Francesco Romano, Lorenzo Rota, Daniel Savini, Manuel Senni, Paolo Simion, Alessandro Tonelli, Luca Wackermann.
Bardiani-CSF in Turkey:
Cornelisse to Direct Van der Poel on the Road
Michel Cornelisse will be DS with the ProContinental Corendon-Circus team of Mathieu van der Poel in 2019.
"He has experience in the WorldTour and knows what it is like to drive wildcards. He has also proven himself as someone who can work with talent at SEG. That together ensures that we think it suits us well," says team manager Philip Roodhooft.
This means that Mathieu's father, Adrie van der Poel, will not be a team DS at Corendon-Circus next year. The team wants to avoid that a father of a rider is also a sports director. However, he remains attached to the team for cyclo-cross, the youth academy and as an advisor. The team still wants to use his knowledge.
Michel Cornelisse with the Roompot team:
The White Jersey, Sponsored by Feníe Energía, To Honor the Best Young Rider of La Vuelta
Beginning with the race’s 2019 edition, La Vuelta’s white jersey, which thus far has been worn by the leading rider in the combined ranking, will be worn by the best young cyclist in the peloton. The jersey will correspond to the rider aged under 26 that stands in highest place in the overall standings. Until now, there was no specific jersey associated with this placing, although it was recognized with a trophy sponsored by the sports daily AS, La Vuelta’s official newspaper. The sponsor of this new white jersey will now be Feníe Energía, which over the past two years has sponsored the most aggressive rider prize. The combined ranking disappears, although its sponsor – Fertiberia – will continue to be linked to La Vuelta.
Following La Vuelta 18, which was characterized by youth, with the second youngest podium in the race’s history, La Vuelta has decided to strengthen its commitment to the promising riders in the peloton. As with the leaders in other rankings, the best young cyclist will wear a jersey that makes them stand out within the group. La Vuelta is therefore following the example of the Tour de France, whose white jersey for the best young rider has been worn by such famous names such as Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Romain Bardet. La Vuelta first began to honor the best riders under the age of 26 in 2017 with a trophy sponsored by AS, the race’s official newspaper. The two winners of this prize so far have been the Colombian Miguel Ángel López (Astana), in 2017, and Spain’s Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors), in 2018.
Feníe Energía, one of La Vuelta’s main sponsors since 2017, thus becomes the first sponsor of La Vuelta’s white jersey. “It is a privilege to clothe the rough diamonds of international cycling. Our jersey will be worn by today’s finest young riders, who will go on to become tomorrow’s stars. The generational handover in this sport is a reality, and we are delighted to be part of it, just as we are part of the regeneration of the energy sector”, said Isabel Reija, Feníe Energía’s CEO.
Feníe Energía, is an independent electricity and gas utility company that has recorded the highest growth in Spain with over 400,000 customers, and it shares La Vuelta’s core values of endeavor and sustainability, as well as youth, as it has only been in business for eight years.
This new white jersey for the best young rider puts an end to the combined ranking, as it will no longer be part of the in-race prizes. This ranking was based on the criterion of a sustained performance, taking the best cyclists in the overall standing, the mountain, and the table by points. La combinada made their first appearance in La Vuelta in 1970, and the first rider to wear the jersey was the Belgian Guido Reybrouck. From then on, it featured intermittently until it was finally fully reinstated in 2003. The honors board for past winners of this prize include such famous names as Eddy Merckx, Sean Kelly, Tony Rominger, Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome, among others.
Fertiberia has sponsored this jersey since 2008. This Spanish company, a European market leader in the fertilizers and chemical products industry, will continue to be linked to La Vuelta as an official sponsor, and will be actively involved in other areas of the race.
Miguel Ángel López (Astana) and Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) won the 'Best Young Rider' prize in La Vuelta 17 and 18 respectively:
Gobik will be the new skin of Caja Rural - Seguros RGA in 2019
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA renews its image for the next season with the addition of Gobik as the team's official supplier. The Spanish brand will provide both professional and amateur teams with everything necessary to perform at the highest level in each race.
Since 2010, Gobik has been offering very high quality garments to teams of the Mountain Bike World Cup, as well as teams of lower categories of national road cycling. Now they land in a PCT team, a step forward with the goal of continuing to grow with the Navarrese team in its tenth season as a professional.
The fusion of the style with the highest technology makes a perfect symbiosis between Caja Rural - Seguros RGA and Gobik to reach the highest levels of cycling together in a very exciting season for the green squad, with a renewed staff and with the maximum ambition to complete a good campaign.
Juan Manuel Hernández (manager of Caja Rural - Seguros RGA): "From Caja Rural - Seguros RGA we have received the new jersey as an innovative change, a modernization of our image. We have always opted for a "retro" design, based on the jerseys of the team at the end of the eighties. Gobik has put a lot of care into the design, managing to combine the team's identity with the elegant aesthetic that characterizes them. For some time we have been following its evolutions and its expansion among cycling fans, with very good comments from all users. Their garments have the highest quality, they have put a lot of interest in working with Caja Rural - Seguros RGA and we are very happy to be able to start this new time with them."
José Ramón Ortín and Alberto García (CEOs of Gobik): "Caja Rural-Seguros RGA is a model team, identified with the youngsters, with roots and impeccable behavior. The design is the result of combining the characteristic lines of Gobik and at the same time the essence of that jersey. From the first day we knew that the supporter of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA will feel identified with this design, but at the same time, the Gobik fan will also distinguish our sign on the clothes."
USA Cycling Announces the 2019 Pro Road Tour Includes 19 Events in 16 States
The national calendar for the 2019 Pro Road Tour (PRT) will feature 18 events across 16 states, it was announced today by USA Cycling. Spanning March to September, the PRT schedule next year will include 45 days of road cycling competitions, with 16 of the 18 events offering races for both Elite Women and Men.
The PRT is comprised of the top road race events in the U.S. and is open to both professional and amateur cyclists. Events are a mix of quality criteriums, omniums, road races, stage races, and an individual time trial event. Individual and team champions are crowned at the conclusion of the calendar.
“The Pro Road Tour enters its fourth year, and we are proud to see a very strong and diverse compilation of road cycling events to leverage earning opportunities for our members. The calendar is structured to provide a balance for travel, as well as support long-standing races that are traditions in local communities,” said Chuck Hodge, Vice President of Operations for USA Cycling.
PRT 2019 Overview:
18 events in 16 states
45 total days of racing
10 criteriums/crit omniums, 6 stage races (5 are UCI), 1 UCI road race, 1 UCI time trial
16 events feature races for men and women
PRT events offer more than $700,000 in prize purses for men and women
The biggest changes on the 2019 PRT schedule are the move of the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California from May to March, and the return of the North Star Grand Prix in Minnesota in June with a women’s UCI stage race.
"Minnesota has a tremendous cycling community and progressing the North Star Grand Prix to become a UCI Women's event represents the strength of this community," said Race Director Brendon Hale. "We are excited to provide women the opportunity to earn valuable UCI points, and provide the opportunity for men to earn USA Cycling PRT points.”
The Redlands Bicycle Classic presented by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will open the 2019 PRT season, with racing from March 13-17. Now in its 34th season, the event is longest, continuously-running invitational stage race for pros in the U.S. The last time the Redlands Bicycle Classic was held in early spring was 2012. Hosted by the city of Redlands and surrounding communities in Southern California, the five-day stage race features three road races, an individual time trial and a criterium.
The April 2019 schedule will be highlighted by the first of four UCI stage races and two criteriums. The Joe Martin Stage Race returns to Fayetteville, Ark., April 4-7. This four-day stage race has a rich history dating back to 1978, and is the oldest stage race event in the U.S. The Sunny King Criterium in Anniston, Ala., follows and will be the first of 10 criteriums and crit omniums on the calendar, scheduled for April 13.
May begins with the second UCI stage race – the 34th edition of the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico with five days of racing, May 1-5. The MVP Health Care Rochester Twilight Criterium in Rochester, N.Y., returns May 11, marking the second year in a row for the spring race. The Wilmington Grand Prix, May 18, is a new event on the PRT calendar this year. It will be the 12th year for the criterium, which is part of three days of cycling events in the capitol of Delaware.
Now a tradition for Memorial Day weekend, racing will be back in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Winston-Salem Criterium will be held under the lights on May 25, and is part of the third annual Gears and Guitars Music Festival. The Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, a UCI road race for men and women, will take place Monday, May 27.
The following weekend, June 1-2, offers the Armed Forces Cycling Classic presented by The Boeing Company in Arlington, Virg. The three-day Saint Francis Tulsa Tough in Tulsa, Okla., will have a dedicated weekend, June 7-9. Back from a one-year absence will be the five-day North Star Grand Prix on June 12-16, which includes road races, a time trial and criterium in and around Minneapolis. It is part of the North Star Bicycle Festival.
Three events in mid-July be on the roads of Idaho and Michigan. Friday, July 12, the only Individual Time Trial on the calendar returns – the Chrono Kristin Armstrong in Boise, Idaho. The following evening, downtown Boise will host the ASWB Twilight Criterium. In the Motor City on July 13, the Detroit Cycling Championships are the eighth criterium event for men and women.
August features the UCI stage races, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah for elite men and the Colorado Classic for elite women. The Tour of Utah will be held for a fifth year as a seven day, UCI 2.HC stage race, Aug. 12-18. The event takes place across multiple host venues in the state. The Colorado Classic will be raced across multiple venues in Colorado as a four-day UCI stage race for women, Aug. 22-25.
The final two events of the 2019 PRT schedule are criteriums – the Gateway Cup in Missouri and the Bucks County Classic in Doylestown Pennsylvania. The Gateway Cup, a criterium omnium, returns Labor Day weekend with four distance courses through four historic St. Louis neighborhoods. It is one of the longest-running cycling events in the country, entering its 35th year, and has been part of the USA CRITS Championship Series. The Bucks County Classic in Doylestown, Penn., which in its 16th running will cap the 2019 PRT season on Sept. 8.
The 2018 PRT individual champions were Katie Hall (Saratoga, Calif./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) for Elite Women and Gavin Mannion (Fort Collins, Colo./UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) for Elite Men. Mannion also captured the 2017 men’s individual crown.
In the team standings, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling swept titles. The UHC women scored a 211-point advantage over Rally Cycling and the UHC men finished with a 275-point margin over Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team.
USA Cycling works with race directors from across the country to create various calendars and series that feature bike racing across several disciplines and ability levels. Inclusion on these calendars often includes event support, rankings tabulation and additional promotion. For a full schedule of events and updated standings throughout the season, click here.
USA CRITS Series Highlighted with Three New Events
2019 marks the 13th year of the USA CRITS Series, the premiere cycling series in the United States. Criteriums are the most spectator-friendly and enduring form of cycling racing in America. Locally originated events combine the highest levels of cycling with community gatherings and street festivals, while showcasing some of America's most vibrant downtown districts.
The 2019 Series season will feature a new preseason event in Birmingham, Alabama. The Birmingham HammerFest will have a unique format in that it will serve as an opportunity for cycling media and teams to interact while gathering team marketing content at different scenic locations around Birmingham.
Eleven events across the United States will make up the 2019 USA CRITS calendar, landing in many of the country's major cycling markets. The Colavita #racefororange will kick off the racing season with the inaugural Destination El Paso Criterium in Texas, the Salt Lake Criterium joins the Series as another new event, and Saint Francis Tulsa Tough returns after a several year hiatus. Full details regarding Series events will be available on USACRITS.com in January as well as the Series Finals location.
2019 USA CRITS Calendar:
Race Date Location
Preseason. Birmingham HammerFest March 16th Birmingham, AL
1. Destination El Paso Criterium March 30th El Paso, TX
2. AOC Athens Twilight Criterium April 27th Athens, GA
3. Winston-Salem Cycling Classic May 25th Winston Salem, NC
4. Saint Francis Tulsa Tough-Blue Dome June 7th Tulsa, OK
5. ASWB Twilight Criterium July 13th Boise, ID
6. Salt Lake Criterium July 20th Salt Lake City, UT
7. San Rafael Sunset Criterium July 27th San Rafael, CA
8. Littleton Twilight Criterium August 3rd Littleton, CO
9. Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic August 10th West Chester, PA
Finals. Finals Announced 2019 September TBD
Twenty-four of America’s elite men’s and women’s cycling teams will be invited to participate as USA CRITS D1 Teams. The Series will focus on these D1 Teams as they #racefororange. The Series will continue to offer a season purse and promote leaders across the Series. D1 teams will be announced January 17th.
“It is exciting to see three brand new events join the Series for 2019. We started 2018 with a goal of creating a more sustainable model for American road cycling and made great progress in that effort. We streamed more races than had ever been done in America. We saw an 11% participation increase in our events and created a new platform to allow a broader audience to engage the sport,” said Scott Morris, USA CRITS Director of Development.
For 2019, the Series will continue to focus on becoming a more team oriented model. There will be a priority on supporting the growth of more teams racing a national calendar through travel stipends, entries, and increased support from events for those D1 teams. There will also be expanded coverage of both teams and events via all media formats.
All USA CRITS Series events will be live streamed on USACRITS.tv. Not only will subscribing fans have access to the feature-packed event streams, but Video on Demand content will include D1 Team and rider components, race recaps, and full-length archived Series races.
Returning to support the Series for 2019 is Bikereg.com, the official registration and results partner, as well as Specialized and Colavita. New industry sponsors include Jakroo, Feedback Sports, and DeFeet. Other Series sponsors to be released in January.
Visit usacrits.com for further information as the new year approaches.
Winston-Salem Cycling Classic:
Sea Otter Canada - A New Cycling Festival for 2019
By Kate Loweth
The Sea Otter Classic announced today it has entered into an agreement with Toronto-based group Sea Otter Cycling Canada Inc. to launch Sea Otter Canada.
Sea Otter Cycling Canada has significant event and mass participation experience ranging from production of FIS World Cup events to national cycling, running and obstacle course series. The first annual Sea Otter Canada Festival will be held in beautiful Blue Mountain, Ontario on July 4-7, 2019.
Sea Otter Canada visitors can expect to see many of the same events and activities that they have grown to love at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, CA: Mountain Bike racing (Dual Slalom, Downhill, Enduro, XC Short Track and Pump Track); Road Cycling events (Criterium, Gran Fondo, Gravel, Hill Climb and Stage Race) along with Hub & Spoke recreational rides will be included. In addition, children’s activities, an expansive product expo and entertainment program are just some of the highlights for the whole family to enjoy at Sea Otter Canada.
Other events created and produced by the Sea Otter Cycling Canada team include the FIS Ski Cross World Cup at Blue Mountain, the Spartan Race Series Canada, the Everest Challenge at Blue Mountain, and the R2//NYC (an 800-km cycle challenge from Toronto to New York City).
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Sea Otter Cycling Canada Inc. to introduce our celebration of cycling to the Canadian market,” said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of the Sea Otter Classic. “Reaching more cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts has been the long-standing goal of Sea Otter. Blue Mountain is the perfect location for us to be able to expand our reach to the Canadian cycling community.”
About Sea Otter Classic
Regarded as the world’s largest cycling festival, this four-day “Celebration of Cycling” hosts nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 70,000 fans. The 29th Annual Sea Otter Classic takes place April 11-14, 2019 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California. For more information, contact Sarah Timleck at [email protected] or call (800) 218-8411.
About Sea Otter Canada
The cycling festival will be hosted at the Blue Mountain resort, a short two-hour drive from Toronto. The Blue Mountain region has emerged as the number one destination for both mountain biking and road cycling in Ontario and is already host to a number of large-scale cycling events. Blue Mountain is a world class resort located on the shores of Georgian Bay offering a beautiful backdrop for both mountain and road events. The quality of the sports infrastructure and the range of available tourist services is unparalleled in Ontario. Outdoor enthusiasts and all levels of cyclists, from the recreational rider to professional athletes, will enjoy the offerings of Sea Otter Canada. For more information, contact Jesper Wahlberg at [email protected] or call (416) 994-6615.
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